Coover Caramels offers sweet way to learn about money, philanthropy

Kai, left, and Layli Coover are part-owners of Coover Caramels. Photo from Ryan Coover.
Kai, left, and Layli Coover are part-owners of Coover Caramels. Photo from Ryan Coover.

Ryan Coover wanted his kids, Kai and Layli, to learn about money through something other than lemonade. His grandmother, affectionately known as Boots, made soft, dark brown caramels that Ryan remembered from his own childhood.

Coover Caramels are sold at three retailers in Central Texas: Luna's Kitchen, Sweet Shack Candy and Zinger Hardware. Photos from Coover Caramels.
Coover Caramels are sold at three retailers in Central Texas: Luna’s Kitchen, Sweet Shack Candy and Zinger Hardware. Photos from Coover Caramels.

He dug up the 1930s recipe and started making batches with his children, giving them a say in the name, branding, production and sales. The business grew into a fledgling candy company called Coover Caramels, which sells handmade — and, for now, hand-wrapped — caramels made with organic butter. They are richer and darker than most but not bitter.

Coover says that people smash the caramel in the plastic in their hands and wrap the sheet of caramel around an apple, chocolate, a cookie, whatever they can get their hands on. The caramels cost $10 for 5 ounces or $15 for 8 ounces.

“It’s amazing how you can do a little something with the kids and how much they can learn from it,” says Coover, who graduated from the University of Texas School of Architecture but quit the industry to become a stay-at-home dad. He says they are in the middle of setting up a bigger commercial production space, but you can currently buy the caramels at Luna’s Kitchen (2051 Cypress Creek Road) or Sweet Shack Candy (200 S. Bell Blvd.) in Cedar Park or Zinger Hardware in Austin (4001 N. Lamar Blvd). You can custom design the cup in which the caramels are sold and find out about the company’s fundraising efforts for SafePlace and Eloise House at www.coovercaramels.com.

Author: Addie Broyles

Food writer for the Austin American-Statesman and Austin360.com.

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